Total BS Media was recently asked to present at Bozeman’s 1 Million Cups. This was our second time presenting; the first was the now legendary puppet show featuring Barb and Sheila. Unfortunately, Barb and Sheila couldn’t make it this time, regardless, Total BS Media’s 2016 Top 10 Learnings did not disappoint. Watch out for cameos from Tony Robbins, Beyoncé, the creepy boy from the Shining and of course chickens with Glocks.
#10 Luxury Lodging – Make a plan, even just a small one.
You can always afford one night away from the office. You need it. You need to get out of your normal day to day routine, the chaos, and the distractions, and plan and develop your strategy for the year. Set goals, benchmarks and next steps for executing that strategy. Even in the early stages of business, it’s important to establish metrics and goals, even if they seem like (un)educated guesses.
#9 Therapy is Awesome – This ain’t easy, finding balance.
That dark feeling is real, don’t ignore it. According to an article in Fortune in October of 2016, feeling burnt out, crippled with anxiety, fear and emptiness are just a normal part of entrepreneurship. Sounds fun! Sign me up! Now that that is out in the open let’s talk about it. Talking is the cure, no really, it’s that easy. Find a trusted friend or therapist and express yourself. Your doubts, your fears, and your stresses and get help to work through them. You are not alone. This is hard; it’s extremely hard. It’s okay to ask for help, in fact, it should be required.
#8 Creative Outlets – Stay Sharp, go see Beyoncé
If Bey isn’t your thing (what’s wrong with you), that’s fine, but it’s important to make sure you are getting a daily dose of inspiration. If daily seems too intimidating, go for weekly. Your mind will benefit from the creative distraction, and your clients will benefit from the improved creative thinking.
#7 It’s Not You – It’s Def Us: Square peg, round hole.
When you first open a business, it’s easy, almost a necessity to take every client that comes your way. As you mature as a business and a business owner, it’s important to define and search out the right clients. That means defining your buyer personas and understanding what kind of businesses are a good target. Honing in on your buyer personas makes your business development efforts easier and more strategic.
#6 Don’t Trust Chickens – Hatch first, count second.
As I said above word of mouth is great, but you cannot solely rely on it as a business development strategy. You must define your ideal client and go and find them. Once you find them, get ink on paper. We have done many a happy dance on a verbal confirmation, only to have to retract the dance once they fail to put ink on paper. We have also done many a happy dance once we have that ink on paper, only to have to retract that dance as well. More on that in #3.
#5 Pandamonium – Content rules, Google says so.
We say so too. Have you read our latest blog post on the Content Arrival in Bozeman? It’s a must read for a variety of reasons, but mainly because content marketing should be something that you are doing and by doing I mean actually executing on, not just saying that you should be. Spammy and scammy SEO is not good. Effective marketing is about adding value. There are not any quick ways to “do” SEO. You need to be creating high-quality content in a variety of formats that solves your customer’s problems. You need to be a thought leader in your field and continually add value to your marketing.
#4 Ego in Residence – Humble pie, you have some on your face.
If number #9 spoke to you, then you are probably forgetting to celebrate the wins you are having. This is important, even the little wins count. Celebrate, congratulate yourself, and move on. Keep your ego in check. It’s amazing how many businesses we have seen fail because the leader's ego was the size of the Grand Canyon. Guess what buddy? You don’t know everything and a great idea is a dime a dozen. What isn’t a dime a dozen? Successful companies with humble, evolving leaders who listen and execute.
#3 So That Happened – Client, bye. Gains and losses.
You really shouldn’t trust chickens, even if they do sign the contract. It turns out if they run out of money, it doesn’t matter if they signed a contract, they can’t pay you. The best offense against a shifty, unpredictable, egomaniacal entrepreneur*? A good financial defense. Be smart with your finances. Have a cushion. Find a good financial mentor or CFO who can help you figure out what that number is.
#2 He’s Not Our Guru – We tried, we really, really tried.
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration. We thought Tony would provide that for us. We watched the Netflix documentary, and we got suckered. We also got a BOGO offer (buy one get one free). The highlights: walking on fire and seeing Pitbull perform. The actual performance wasn’t the highlight, though. The highlight is our new elevator dance we got from Pitbull. Follow along: When the elevator door closes, look at your friend dead in the eye, lean back as if it’s your turn at the limbo bar, toes in second, one hand karate chopping your crotch and simply say “Mr. Worldwide” in your best Pitbull accent. Try it; it will change your life. The real highlight happened when we ditched out after a day and a half, rented a Dodge Challenger, got tattoos and went and saw Temple of the Dog perform. Guru drop.
#1 We Be Weird – Do you, cause that’s all ya got.
Stay true to who you are. This goes double for your business. We have realized the further we get away from our true passion, the more unhappy we become. Your freak flag is better than a white flag. Do you, love you, and embrace you. If people don’t like it, that is their problem, not yours. In the infamous words of one of my favorite housewife, “How many F*&%’s do I give? None, not one, zero!”
* Names have been changed or purposely left out to protect the guilty.